WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he intends to sign an executive order “probably” next week that will allow people to purchase health insurance across state lines.
“I am considering an executive order on associations, and that will take care of a tremendous number of people with regard to health care,” Trump said to a group of reporters on the White House lawn before heading to Indianapolis to officially unveil his tax reform plan. “And I’ll probably be signing a very major executive order where people can go out, cross state lines, do lots of things, and buy their own health care. And that will be probably signed next week.”
Despite one of the authors of the GOP health care bill, Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., saying “We don’t have the votes” on health care Tuesday, Trump told reporters that Republicans do have enough votes to pass a health care bill that would replace the Affordable Care Act.
“We have the votes for health care. We have one senator that’s in the hospital. He can’t vote, because he’s in the hospital,” Trump said in an apparent reference to Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., who is at home recovering from a medical problem.
“Thanks for the well wishes. I’m not hospitalized, but am recuperating at home in Mississippi and look forward to returning to work soon,” tweeted Cochran shortly after Trumps statement.
After Trump’s vote claims, Sen. Lindsey Graham, the other author of the failed health care bill, told CNN late Wednesday that Republicans don’t have the votes to pass health care legislation at the moment, but added that he’s not giving up.
Trump also signaled Wednesday that he intends to work with Democrats on health care in the next few months.
“I’m also going to meet with Democrats, and I will see if I can get a health care plan that’s even better.”
Under current Senate rules, Republicans would need 60 votes, the number needed to break a filibuster, on a health care proposal after Sept 30.